Add e-passports to the list of “e-ssentials” /Global/Press-and-News/News/2009/e-passport524x224.jpg An e-passport may look like a traditional printed travel document, but the embedded HID technology contains encrypted data that authenticates the document and the identity of the passport holder. An e-passport, or electronic passport, is essentially the same as a regular passport with the addition of a small, contactless integrated circuit and antenna embedded in the cover or secure page. The chip stores the usual information found on the photo page of the passport, with special security features to protect the digital data. Manuel Villamayor, vice president of eGovernment for HID Global’s Identification Solutions (IDS) business segment in Granges, Switzerland, is an expert in e-documentation. “For decades we have been a driving force in the development of credentials that are more secure, more efficient to use and more interoperable between systems and countries,” he says. Secure personal identification has become a cornerstone of increased national security. “Some users are motivated by new legislation or regulations or by the simple cachet of sophistication, while others are attracted by the greater security e-passports provide,” Villamayor says. HID Global electronic documents such as national e-ID cards, e-passports and e-visas pose formidable challenges to counterfeiters, identity thieves and terrorists.The electronics inside e-passports need to be able to withstand the pressures applied, as well as the flexing that occurs with frequent travelers’ use. Using proven secure, tamperresistant design and ceFLEX™ material, HID’s inlays are highly durable and help the chip and antenna to withstand daily mechanical wear. The rubber-like material is translucent, so you can see the embedded chip and antenna before it’s laminated. Depending on the customer’s needs, the inlay is then embedded in additional protective layers.Together with HID Global’s reader technology, e-passports and e-IDs ultimately make travel and identity verification easier” for everyone. “More than 20 countries are using our e-passports now,” Villamayor says.